Summer Keeps Demand High for Soft Top Surfboards – NBC 7 San Diego
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, people have acquired many hobbies. Baking bread was perhaps one of the most popular, but other people took the opportunity to go out.
“I tried to buy a bike, fishing stuff, outdoor stuff and soft boards, it was the same,” said Lucas Dalager, surfboard buyer at Hansen Surfboards. “We’ve certainly sold more and more over the last few years, but the last year was crazy.”
Dalager said the store completely sold off its soft-top boards last year, selling more than double the amount the previous year. One of the reasons is that a soft top surfboard is a good board for people who are learning to surf.
“You didn’t have to learn on a soft board when we were younger, but there are so many options now,” said Dalager. “Why not get them on a soft board and then when they switch to that hard board, they’ll still have a soft board to come back to on sunny days.”
This is exactly what some surfers use them for, as foam boards are gaining in popularity.
“It’s my fun board that I take to the beach in the afternoon,” said Scott Whitehead, a surfer who calls boards sponges. “They work well, they’re cheap, they’re easy to put in your truck. It’s sort of a great alternative!”
Whitehead says he’s seeing more and more surfers using the convertible top alternatives because they are simple and easy to use.
“My daughter has one and her husband,” Whitehead said. “And we surf in the afternoon. They are super fun and you don’t have to worry about them.”
But not everyone is a fan.
Some people prefer classic, hard boards, like surfer Jim Tomes.
“Softboards have their place in surf camps and when you’re trying to instruct someone,” Tomes said. “Other than that, they shouldn’t be in the lineup.”
Yet others don’t really care what people use. They say it’s more about experience than advice.
“You can have a great day on a foam board,” said surfer Mark Thiel. “I don’t have any prejudices about the type of board people use, so it’s great.”
Hansen Surfboards has six different board brands and still has several in stock, but the store expects them to go quickly. As the popularity of soft-top surfboards increased during the pandemic, Dalager believes they are here to stay.
“I think it will always be a viable board,” said Dalager. “There are always people who want to learn. There are always people who just want to get in the water and get wet and come in smiling, and so I don’t see it going away any time soon.”